Invitation to Joint BSDB/Nordic Meeting on Developmental Biology and Regeneration

As a joint endeavor from the British and four Nordic Societies for Developmental Biology the first “Joint BSDB/Nordic Meeting on Developmental Biology and Regeneration” is organized in Aula Medica, Karolinska Institutet, Stockholm, Sweden.

The purpose of this meeting is to gather a wide range of experts to showcase Nordic and British science in an international setting and discuss scientific as well as technological advances in the fields of development and regeneration.

The three-day program covers a broad range of subjects, including animal and plant development, regeneration and stem cell sciences. The meeting has a wide scope covering state of the art genetic, molecular and cellular technologies as well as classical embryology. One of the major aims of the meeting is to provide a forum to create new and strengthen the existing collaborations among developmental biologists, who work on diverse topics and organisms and cells originating from a wide range of species, including model- and non-model organisms, as well as, human and plants. The format of the meeting includes presentations from invited international experts intermingled with abstract selected talks as well as poster ‘flash presentations’. Finally, we hope this will provide a great forum for young PIs, postdocs and students to present their work to a broad and knowledgeable audience and thus be an excellent forum for interaction, collaboration and learning.

Register at:

BSDB nordic conference 170503g

Postdoctoral Fellow position available

We are seeking a dedicated postdoctoral fellow with interest in the cellular and molecular biology of diabetes to join our team.

The main aim for the position is to seek novel insights into the cellular and molecular mechanism of pancreatic β-cell differentiation. The successful candidate will apply a combination of characterisation methods (i.e. immunofluorescence, flow cytometry, functional assays, next generation RNA and DNA sequencing, epigenetic methods) to study pancreatic cells differentiated from human induced pluripotent stem cells (hIPSC), both  in vitro and in vivo context (murine models).

For further information about the project and the position, please contact Professor Helge Ræder (PI), phone: +47 55975263, e-mail:

For applications, please follow the instructions at:

Diabetesforbundets forskningskonferanse 2016

diabetes forbundets forskningskonferanseDiabetesforbundets forskningskonferanse is the annual research conference of the Norwegian Diabetes Association, which this year was held at Clarion Hotel & Congress Oslo Airport on 28-29th of April. 


Our research group was represented by:

  • Luiza Ghila talked about regenerative strategies currently under development to be used for diabetes treatment, with a focus on stem cell technology.
  • Yngvild Bjørlykke showed how to use patient own cells to create new insulin-producing cells.

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The other 2 presentations from the Diabetes Stem Cell which I would like to mention were given by Hanne Scholz (mesechymal stem cells in the treatment of type 1 diabetes) and Jørn V. Sagen (brown fat cells in obesity and type 2 diabetes).


Although the meeting was mainly in Norwegian, the atmosphere was lively, with story readings and research data presentations, combined with good food and exercise-induced endorphines.

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Diabetesforbundet is very active on social media: instagram, twitter, facebook, and I especially enjoyed the conference app.

New Article: Stem Cell Reports

Maturity-onset diabetes of the young (MODY) is a type of autosomal dominant monogenic diabetes classically characterized by non-ketotic, non-insulin-dependent diabetes occurring before the age of 25 years. Patients with MODY5 commonly exhibit pancreatic hypoplasia due to an autosomal dominant mutation in the HNF1B gene.

Previously, our collaborators from Joslin Diabetes Center, the research group of Rohit Kulkarni, turned skin cells (fibroblasts), donated by Norwegian patients, into induced pluripotent stem (iPS) cells, which are cells that can be coaxed to develop any tissue in the body. Now, using a customised protocol, they differentiated these iPSC into pancreatic progenitors and compared family controls with 2 mutation carriers (of which one of them has developed diabetes, whereas the other has not). Time-course analyses revealed complex compensatory mechanisms acting at the transcriptional level. These data suggest that, even though the diabetes onset occurs relatively late in life, there are compensated perturbations early during pancreatic development. Future studies are required on later differentiation stages up to mature insulin-producing β-like cells, which should reveal the impact of transcriptional perturbations on β-cell formation and function.


The paper can be read here.

Early Developmental Perturbations in a Human Stem Cell Model of MODY5/HNF1B Pancreatic Hypoplasia Teo AK, Lau HH, Valdez IA, Dirice E, Tjora E, Raeder H, Kulkarni RN.
Stem Cell Reports. 2016 Feb 8. pii: S2213-6711(16)00024-2.

Simona Chera and Harald Barsnes received funding from FRIPRO

IMG_5994The Norwegian Research Council announced on 7th of December the new list of awardees. Two members of our group got new funding from FRIPRO for 2 independent Young Research Talent projects:

  • Simona Chera: “Characterizing and modulating the insulin-producing beta-cell fate in monogenic diabetes by using novel genetic setups”
  • Harald Barsnes: “Obtaining novel biomedical knowledge from proteomics research”.

Congratulations to Simona Chera and Harald Barsnes!

22 % of applications for Researcher projects, Young Research Talents and FRIPRO mobility grants received an overall mark of 6 or 7. Among these, approximately 50 % were funded within FRIMEDBIO’s budget. For more information on the FRIPRO application review process, see the FRIPRO web pages.


Harald Barsnes received the Bergen Research Foundation’s Recruitment Grant

Harald Barsnes, affiliated to our group and researcher at the Department of Biomedicine and Department of Informatics, receives 9,4 million NOK from Bergen Research Foundation.

The aim of Harald’s project is to develop bioinformatic solutions for research challenges. For example, medical research generates large amounts of data. To interpret such data and simultaneously obtain maximum benefit from them can be a slow and difficult process. His project involves a multidisciplinary collaboration across four departments at the University of Bergen and several international partners.

Photo: Eivind Senneset Copyright: UiB

Photo: Eivind Senneset Copyright: UiB